Opposition, Left hound PM; wiki-bomb damages image for UPA

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PM Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, Mar 18: There's another fallout in the offing and this time its not nuclear but an after-effect of the Wikileaks-induced bomb that exploded on the UPA government that exposed the back handed dealings of Congress members to win the trust vote to pass the Indo-US nuclear deal.

With the ruling government desperately trying to curb the damage by denying the allegations, the very reason has led to the Opposition to train its guns on the UPA. In an all-charged up assault, the Opposition wants nothing other than the Prime Minister's resignation. Senior BJP leader, LK Advani said, “This government must quit. The PM must take responsibility and resign...he has no moral authority to lead the government."

After a huge ruckus broke out in Parliament over the cash for n-votes controversy, Finance Minister responded to Opposition proding and said that he would not confirm or deny the contents of the matter since the matter concluded with the last Lok Sabha. The UPA was re-elected in May 2009.

The controversial Indo-US nuclear deal passed through a vote of confidence and the tumultuous turn of events in 2008 led to the Left quitting from the alliance. But what transpired behind closed doors has shocked all, where an insane amount of money was floated to buy the votes to pass the proposal. It is at this time that Wikileaks cable reveal that senior Congress leader Satish Sharma had a meeting with the embassy's Political Counselor. The fact was revealed in the cable sent to the US Charge d'Affaires Steven White on July 17.

The cable reads, “Sharma's political aide Nachiketa Kapur mentioned to an Embassy staff member in an aside on July 16 that Ajit Singh's RLD had been paid Rupees 10 crore (about $2.5 million) for each of their four MPs to support the government. Kapur mentioned that money was not an issue at all, but the crucial thing was to ensure that those who took the money would vote for the government." White was also quoted as mentioning in the cables, “Kapur showed the Embassy employee two chests containing cash and said that around Rupees 50-60 crore (about $25 million) was lying around the house for use as pay-offs."

While the man in the center of the controversy, Capt Satish Sharma has vehemently denied all allegations and said that he did not have a political aide named Kapur. Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal whose MPs were believed to be given Rs 10 crore each also denied the accusations and said that the cables got it wrong and said that he had 4 MPs unlike 3 as suggested by the cables.

The Opposition and the Left parties are taking a no-holds barred approach to nail the corrupt government, when Arun Jaitley from the BJP called the scandal a "political and moral sin." The CPM went a step ahead when Prakash Karat said his party wanted a criminal case filed on the various allegations pointed at the government. He also stated that he would make this a campaign issue in the upcoming Assembly elections in five states. He also said in his statement that "Congress stands for Corruption with a capital C."

An earlier cash for votes controversy had broken out when certain BJP MPs revealed packets of cash in the floor of the house in 2008 just before the vote of confidence that was allegedly offered to them to vote for the nuclear deal. Other clandestine deals were also reveled in a sting operation by CNN-IBN that exposed the role money played in the affairs.

OneIndia News

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